Tag Archives: Jung

Chuck’s Place: On the Road to Berlin?

There are alternative roads for now…
– Lawn sculpture by Chuck Ketchel, photo by Jan Ketchel

I was born to be a therapist, but my first college degree was in history. I chose history due to my conviction that if we don’t learn from history we repeat our mistakes. As with psychotherapy, a thorough recapitulation of our history frees us from repeating global mistakes.

 My bachelor’s thesis sought to understand the etiology of controversial lectures that Carl Jung delivered to the C. G. Jung Gesellshaft (the Psychological Club of Berlin) in July 1933. I will report more on the findings of this exploration in coming blogs, as it delivers keen insights into the world patterns of now.

Barbara Hannah, an ardent student of Jung’s, was determined to attend these lectures, but this would require her to drive from Switzerland through Germany, alone. When she queried Jung about the advisability of such an undertaking, given the current atmosphere in Germany, he quietly deliberated and then replied, “Yes, risk it! Mind you, I don’t know what will happen, but it will be an interesting experience.”

I am reminded here of the sparkle of delight in Carlos Castaneda’s voice when he would tell us to go have our own journeys and, “See what happens!” All must discover for themselves the truth. We must become our own gurus, not simply rely upon what we are told.

Barbara reports that she encountered almost no cars on the highways but instead crowds of listless hikers wandering along the roads. Barbara writes that when Jung “read in the newspapers that the Germans were restlessly on the move, wandering from place to place, he was reminded of the wanderer Wotan and realized that this was an ‘archaic symbol’ that was certainly going to produce an unacceptable situation in Germany, unless enough individual Germans became conscious of the danger in time.”

History proves that consciousness did not prevail, and a collective trance set in that saw a civilized nation devolve into mass murderers, who committed the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Germany was struggling with difficult economic times, much as the world today is faced with growing scarcity, as the impact of climate change dries up resources and precipitates mass migrations. In an effort to empower Germany’s downtrodden, Germany’s ruler  tapped into the themes of nationalism and white supremacy, blaming the alien, the not pure-white Aryan, in this case the Jews, for controlling and hoarding Germany’s national wealth that only legitimate citizens should be entitled to.

Despite the hypnotic prowess of a charismatic leader, citizens’ psyches cannot be hypnotized unless the rhetoric being preached by the leaders resonates on some level with their own personal beliefs. This is why Jung determined that consciousness, becoming conscious of the beliefs and forces within one’s own psyche and how they operate and hold sway, was the only hope to avert disaster.

When illegal immigrants are arrested and separated from their families, what is the citizen’s internal psychic reaction to this action? Many law-abiding citizens might express sympathy for the children, but blame the parents of those children for their unfortunate predicament. The underlying belief might hold that the illegal entry of those aliens into a country is robbing legitimate citizens of their entitled resources, which trumps the fate of those children.

Citizens might blame their leaders for such horrific practices, but do they inwardly go numb and passively agree, out of concern for their own personal survival? Only consciousness that is willing to honestly face the depths of those feelings and beliefs, within the self, can be freed to act beyond its narrow, self-centered fixation. 

Fear, in this time of scarcity, has resurrected the challenges and behavioral solutions that resulted in WWII. Jung’s sage advice remains fully applicable. If individuals face their own psyches, with deep consciousness, they are no longer vulnerable to outer polarizing suggestions that justify white supremacy and elimination of other.

Just one individual who truly faces the darkness of their shadow can change the world. And what’s in that darkness? As mirrored by world leaders of now, we all have our own narcissistic ME über alles, within us, that may rule from the shadows of our unconscious minds.

Consider the ME that insists on consuming the substance that places the overall self in crisis. Consider the blind conscience whose stock portfolio flourishes in the greatest market gains of all time, fueled by destruction of the planet’s resources and balance. Consider the ME whose hunger for attention takes actions that negate the true well-being of the whole self.

Can we bear the tension of the volatile energies of desire, like a Christ nailed to a cross, or a Buddha sitting unflinchingly amidst all the sensual delights and grossest fears of this world?

Such are the extremes we see exploding throughout the world now. Mass shootings simply reflect an individual’s inability to bear and resolve tension within, and they foreshadow the mass atrocities that loom oppressively on the horizon, if consciousness does not prevail. Let us not walk sheepishly on an old road to Berlin. Let’s refuse the scapegoat solution.

Let’s not repeat the nightmare. We must face it and wake up. Kali Yuga needn’t end in repetition compulsion. A new dream with true resolution waits on the horizon. But to arrive there, we must individually bear the tension of the polarity of consciousness and shadow within our own psyches.

Go within…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Let’s evolve that dream now. Bring consciousness within, bear the tension of the opposites within, and allow that contained explosive energy to rise to the level of the heart chakra, where we are all in this together, parts of the same whole. And together, as one, we can indeed dream a new dream.

Learning from history,

Chuck

Excerpts and references: Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir by Barbara Hannah

Chuck’s Place: The Mood

Bad Mood!
– Art by Jan Ketchel © 2018

“I woke up in such a mood; I can’t seem to shake it.”

What is this heavy feeling state that mysteriously envelops us like a fog as it thwarts our familiar energetic sense of self.  A mood hardly seems part of our typical ego consciousness. It seems to derive from elsewhere in the vastness of our psyche, having gained enough momentum to overtake and color our state of mind and energy for the day.

A mood is the emotional expression of an other part of the self, a sibling of the ego, that typically resides in our shadow, the part of us that is also “us” but resides in the dark, outside our conscious light-bearing ego self. A mood is a concretely experienced example of a separate and distinct part of ourselves that impacts  our consciousness, as well as our attitude, as we approach our daily lives.

Jung originally coined his psychological approach “complex psychology” when he discovered the existence of other characters in the psyche interfering with the conscious ego’s ability to respond to certain words presented in a word association test. This was expressed through delays in reaction time, as well as through physiological indicators of emotional distress. For Jung this was clear evidence of what he called “feeling toned complexes” or sub-personalities that coexist in the background or unconscious part of the psyche.

A mood can be understood as a form of communication to ego consciousness from an inner complex or sub-personality that expresses a powerful negative reaction or attitude toward something present or emerging in life. Given its debilitating impact upon the will of the ego, the mood may render the ego deflated or depressed. Often this can lead to an immobilized or compromised moody state.

The emotional tension generated within the individual by the mood frequently seeks relief via blaming someone outside the self as the problem. This of course can lead to endless misunderstandings and bickering as the scapegoated other reacts to questionable accusations. Unfortunately, the defensive need to relieve tension within the self often blinds a person to such distorted projections.

Ultimately, the sub-personality or complex behind a mood must be owned and reckoned with directly by the ego through an inner process of reflection and negotiation. The ego must suspend judgement toward the troublesome complex if it hopes to engage it in a reconciliatory process. Although the ego must endure a mood, it must also establish that it remains in control of all actions taken. Nonetheless, it must be willing to let the mood have its own voice too, that is, allow it to express its point of view, the reason for its mood.

The ego must be careful not to decide it automatically knows the reason for the mood, it must consult the mood directly. As we sit quietly with the mood we seek to have it communicate its point of view directly. We can do this through a process of amplification, by acknowledging the feeling state of the mood and asking for more information. Perhaps at this point an image or thought spontaneously comes into mind.

Perhaps we see a familiar person’s face in our mind’s eye. Perhaps we hear them saying something. We can listen and give attention to what they might say. If it’s just an image, no words, we can stay with the image and see what associations about the person come to mind. If we write down our associations we can then feel our way through them to see what associations feel more energized in this moment. In effect, we are building a communication bridge with the mood that gradually fills out its message.

Perhaps it becomes clear that our ego has felt obliged to accommodate a plan with another person because it doesn’t want to disappoint them. The mood becomes recognized as a shadow complex that holds the truth that we don’t want to do something. Its mood is an attempt to subvert action and have the ego assert itself.

The ego is now in a position to acknowledge the truth of the mood and the need to become more assertive with its true feelings. The ego can then validate the shadow complex and pledge to move gradually toward greater self assertion. This might set the stage for a fairly quick lifting of the mood. Sometimes it can be that simple, at other times far more complex.

The key to the resolution process is the acknowledgement by the ego of the autonomy and right to exist of the complex itself. Giving attention to the complex warms it toward the ego, but it must realize that the ego is in charge of all final decisions of action.

Treating a mood as an invitation to a dialogue shifts the focus toward positive collaboration. As difficult as that process may be, it stands to advance us toward inner unity and healing.

Move over Freud! Perhaps communing with moods is an even more efficient royal road to the unconscious, though of course dreams are always welcome!

Mood lifted, blog written,

Chuck

Love Is All We Need

May love be the only thing that comes between us…
– Artwork by Jan Ketchel © 2017

The feminine is rising. At this moment in human history we find ourselves in a singularly unique position. The rising of the feminine offers an opportunity for the world to head in a new direction, to take us out of an old world order and place us squarely and securely in a new world where the man/woman inequality, now so prevalent, finally gives way to a new social order.

This new order could steer us away from the battle of the sexes and in the mutual direction of an acceptance of each individual person as unique and valuable, each one of us as an equally valued member of society, as important in the grand scheme of things as every other individual. We are all unique beings who just want to be accepted for who we are, our true selves. Some things would have to change for such wide-sweeping acceptance. We are already encountering the difficulties of true acceptance of our uniquenesses in the quandary over gender issues currently raging as strongly as the #MeToo movement.

The feminine principle in nature during the daytime is the earth itself; Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Gaia, Pachamama, the natural one upon whom all of our lives depend. The masculine principle during the daytime is the sun, the powerful penetrating light from above that exposes and reveals, that shines upon us all and from which there is no recourse except to go inside, away from the penetrating glare and heat of this penetrating eye.

The feminine principle of nature at nighttime is the moon, a softly penetrating glow of pearly maternal light that guides us through our dreams and our encounters with other worlds while we sleep and while we make our way in the darkness. The masculine principle at night is the darkness itself, the concealer of everything that the sun had lit and revealed. The masculine principle at night masks it all, asking us to forget it even exists.

In psychological terms the masculine principle in woman is called the animus, a term coined by C. G. Jung. He called the feminine principle in man the anima. These two parts, the animus and the anima, play important roles in every human life, in our interactions with others and within ourselves.

The animus is responsible for stirring woman from her naturally comfortable state as earth mother and moon goddess and giving her grounding in the world. The animus is responsible for ego-building and strengthening, establishing rationality, providing guidance and stamina to face what life presents at every turn. When the animus dominates, woman is taken too far from her true nature. Becoming masculine dominated, she is far removed from her true feminine powers and her true feminine self.

The anima in men presents with a similar dilemma. It’s important for men to be feeling and emotional, sensitive and not totally dominated by the sun god and the darkness, but to bring into everyday encounters and actions the feeling side of their feminine nature. Otherwise men are alienated from their own true feelings, haphazardly and unconsciously thrusting themselves into the world with little regard for how they affect others. Should the anima dominate men they become moody and demanding, wanting and taking, seeking to please themselves, often in self-soothing disregard for others.

With the advent of the empowering #MeToo movement women have emerged from the masculine dominated darkness of secrecy and hiding with an important message for everyone. Women are shining the glowing light of the full moon upon the truth of a male dominated society that has brutally and selfishly taken, controlled, and repressed.

The glare of this bright light upon the truths that especially women have had to bear for centuries is crucial, especially now as we live in a country that is dominated by the golden sun god himself and all his cronies who rape and pillage not only women and the earth but every decent and loving aspect of the feminine that has painstakingly been implanted through a long process of working toward mutual caring, equality, and balance in our world. In exposing sexual abuses women are showing that they are not afraid, that they will not be quiet any longer.

Women are strong. There is no doubt about that. But women must not become so dominated by the animus that they become like those men who abuse their power. It’s not about one sex dominating the other anymore; it’s about balance between the two, within and without. Women are in a position of power right now. The key is to not dominate but to take things to a new level, bringing the sexes together in a totally new way, making it clear that one cannot dominate the other if there is to be peace and equality in the world, and if there is to be acceptance of and respect for the unique individuals that we all are.

In the Soulbytes and other messages that I have channeled over the past few weeks what has been coming through has been the importance and the uniqueness of love—love as a unifying energy to be used for good, for advancement of the human species, for taking things to a new level, for establishing a new social order. It’s the antidote to hate, to anger, to divisiveness, to blame and shame. It’s what powers the feminine and is the power of the feminine too. It’s also the magic we all so badly need right now.

Let’s not forget that love is the answer. Let’s spread that message, men and women alike. It’s time for the feminine principle of love to dominate within us all. And it won’t hurt anyone.

Love is all we need.


A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Sage Guidance for Now

The energy we prefer to spread…

Jan and I drove into our little village of Red Hook yesterday to be greeted at the main crossroad by a pickup truck sporting a huge half- American half-confederate flag blowing in the wind in the bed of the truck. The energy of the war drums pounding is palpable everywhere. How to respond? We turn to some sage guidance from the person we consider to be the wisest of the 20th Century, whose reach has yet to be fully realized, C. G. Jung, from his collected letters Volume 2, p. 502-3.

On April 28, 1959 Jung responded to a question as to why he didn’t protest against the injustice done to Tibet by the Chinese occupation. Here is his response:

“You are quite right: I also ask myself why I do not use the means that appear to be at my disposal to do my bit in combating the atrocities that are going on in the world. I can give no rational reasons for this. In such matters I usually wait for an order from within. I have heard nothing of the kind. The world situation has got so hopelessly out of hand that even the most stirring words signify nothing. It would be more to the point, or so it seems to me, if each of us were sure of his own attitude. But an individual who thinks that his voice is heard afar merely exposes himself to the suspicion that he is one of that band who have said something in order to prove to themselves that they have done something whereas in reality they have done nothing at all. Words have become too cheap. Being is more difficult and is therefore fondly replaced by verbalizing. Unfortunately this is all I have to say on the matter.”

What Jung is suggesting is that we act when we hear the order to do so from within ourselves. That order issuing not from impulse but from the quiet certainty of the heart. In the meantime the real contribution is to take on one’s own being, truly reconciling the opposing energies within the self. This is the playing field for world peace, the holographic solution.

Peace,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Aquarius Meets Lucifer

Every 2,150 years the Earth tilts toward a different constellation. This repeats itself twelve times before it completes a full revolution on it axis for a total of 26,000 years.

Never too late for some flower power!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Astrologers assign to each of these epochs a different zodiacal sign. Earth is just completing its 2,000 year plus stay in the sign of Pisces. We are currently indeed at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, the beginning of a new 2,000 year era.

“And now we are moving into Aquarius,” wrote Carl Jung in a letter in 1955, “of which the Sibylline books say, …Aquarius inflames the savage forces of Lucifer.”*

As with the ending of any epoch, new life is preceded by great destruction. Put another way, we are in the early contractions of a cosmic birth. Jung’s final vision on his deathbed in 1961 was a vastly changed Earth, some 50 years in the future. This vision is shared by many psychics. In fact, Jan channeled a similar prediction in which Jeanne suggested that the re-formation of earth mass may create a whole new orbit of the planet.

Whether these predicted changes will occur through nuclear engagement, currently threatening the world, or through the melting of the ice caps and the rising oceans, or some combination of both, it’s pretty clear that major change is already in motion. The saving grace is that all predictions suggest that, though deeply challenged, the Earth and life will endure.

Aquarius is the water bearer, and it is associated with all things water, from nurturance to flood. Aquarius is also forward looking, idealistic, bent on freedom and humanitarianism. These are the higher chakras in the human energy system, from the heart to the third eye, the mental and spiritual planes.

The period we are exiting, Pisces, was characterized by hierarchy and power, the chakra of the ego or solar plexus and its dominance of the lower chakras, particularly sexuality.

The religions of the Piscean era offered their guidance and garnered their power through insistence on belief and forced adherence to dogma. The Aquarian age, though highly intuitive, insists on proof, genuine experience as its spiritual path, to “know” rather than to simply believe.

With its insistence on fairness, Aquarius is in direct opposition to the  wily ego of power and control, a vestige of the Piscean age. This is the clash with Lucifer that Jung references from the Sibylline Oracle. We are currently witnessing such opposition on the world stage as narcissistic power motives clash with the true needs of the planet. It will be the challenge of the Aquarian age to reconcile narcissism with true freedom and equality.

Interestingly, Jung believed that even more fundamental to world survival was the issue of overpopulation. Even Tesla, the rising star of the electric car industry, though producing an intelligent energy solution to gas guzzling cars still aims to produce 10,000 vehicles per week, modest by auto industry standards but absurd in terms of the burden on the planet. The truth is that an ever-expanding human population will destroy the planet regardless of its attempts at energy conservation measures.

From the perspective of overpopulation, the humans of the Aquarian age will have to arrive at a new relationship to the sexual instinct if the planet and life on it are to survive.

Interestingly, don Juan Matus, Carlos Castaneda’s teacher, concluded that the only way for the world to survive and evolve was for human beings to access the energetic side of life, the energy body. Reaching the energy body and interacting on an energetic level require a refined use of sexual energy. Honing sexual energy for higher purposes has long been known and utilized in kundalini yoga, as well as Buddhist and shamanic practices.

Life at an energetic level offers completely transparent union. And connection at that level involves direct knowing and complete merging with another being; a more completely satisfying union than the physical copulation of our current permutation, where large parts of our beings remain hidden from our partners. At an energetic level all is revealed, all is known, all is accepted.

I am reminded of a young Jane Fonda as Barbarella, a 1968 movie about a futuristic woman who encounters a man from our time who wants to have sex with her. She is amused and grants him his wish, but sees it as an antiquated, limited approach to intimacy from a once physical, lower-chakra dominated time in human history.

Deeply satisfying union that transcends mere physical need opens a whole new possibility for achieving balance upon the planet in this coming age of Aquarius.

Though there are established practices to reach the energy body, such as Tensegrity, dreaming, and meditation, in my clinical work I have discovered that trauma often precipitates an immediate out-of-body jolt, introducing a person to the energy body, where they witness their physical body from a vantage point outside of the physical body.

Obviously, I am not advocating that people go out and engage in activities that will trigger traumatic jolts out-of-body. But I am suggesting that perhaps what we are going to be facing in this Aquarian age, in our clash with Lucifer and whatever earthly calamities result, may offer jolts that will collectively catapult our species out-of-body and into energy body states with all its evolutionary possibilities for harmony and understanding. Stripped of our current collective ego consciousness, the possibilities for a new collective consciousness, dissolved of ego dominated by narcissism, is truly a new age dream.

The true clash of the Aquarian with Lucifer is the clash between spirit (mental plane) and  body. This translates into the opposition and split between the lower chakras of the physical body and the higher chakras of the energy body. In the Piscean age regulation of this opposition was handled through romantic ideals such as courtly love, celibacy, or downright repression. This form of control burst apart with the freedom and ideals of the dawning of the age of Aquarius in the experimentation and free love of the 1960s.

Those new age ideals have transmuted into a cool detachment, deep intelligentsia,  and avoidance of human commitment in favor of abstract connection via technology in a multitude of forms of social media. That incredible new opportunities for connection and communication have opened via this channel, as they present new means of connection and mass efforts to effect change, is obvious. However, the shadow of this medium is a dissociation from real human contact and genuine feeling, which the liberated Aquarian may neglect in its idealism. This can activate the ire of Lucifer, the earthbound body.

On an individual level the reconciliation of spirit and body endures in new forms in this Aquarian age. As we allow ourselves to discover our new found energetic freedoms let us not neglect the true needs of our physical, animal, instinctual selves, which must be included fairly in our new selves, or meet them as inflamed savage forces as the Sibylline book warns.

To address the needs of the whole self, with full transparent honesty, is an Aquarian ideal. As this transparency extends beyond the self to others the door opens to greater energetic connection. As the wave of Aquarian energy more fully enters the world, a greater mass of human beings bent on evolution will embrace compassion, truth, and loving kindness, manifesting a newly balanced world.

Making it real,

Chuck

*From Letters Volume 2, p. 229